The sixth Gran Recogida, the massive annual collection for foodbanks, will be taking place in supermarkets all over the province on 1 and 2 December. The collection in Malaga is organised by the foodbank Bancosol, and the event coincides with collections all over Spain, organised by the foodbank federation.
The Gran Recogida was created during the worst period of the economic crisis, but despite some improvement now, the need for collections like this is still high.
Bancosol looks after 49,000 people on low incomes in Malaga who need help from NGOs to be able to eat every day. Although there are fewer people in need than the 55,000 last year, the figures are still “shocking”, according to Joaquín Jiménez, vice-president of Bancosol.
Over the next few days, Bancosol has the challenge of recruiting local volunteers for the Gran Recogida, at a time when people do not realise the urgent need for help.
“We are hoping to exceed numbers from last year, when we collected 540,000 kilos of food across the province,” indicates Jiménez, who is in charge of the Gran Recogida.
This year, Bancosol hopes to collect 650,000 kilos of food in Malaga, and three million kilos in all of Andalucía. The donations should be nonperishable items, with a special need for baby food. This year, as Jiménez explains, they hope to collect more vegetables, milk, and oil, instead of all pasta and rice, in accordance with the Andalusian FAGA plan.
In the province, the Gran Recogida will need 4,000 volunteers, to help at the 300 collection points. This year is the first time that the Gran Recogida has not been a high profile event with sponsors in Andalucía.
The collection also relies on the help of 220 NGOs that regularly work with Bancosol. Twelve per cent of all the food distributed by Bancosol in Malaga comes from the Gran Recogida, which is why, say the organisers, participation from local citizens is vital.